DriveThruRPG.com
Close
Close
Browse









Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
BattleTech: Intelligence Operations Handbook
by Glen W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/21/2016 17:13:43

This book has been very helpful as a resource for my writing. I use it to play the related games and also as a resource for my fan fiction. Thank you for making it available,



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech: Intelligence Operations Handbook
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

BattleTech: Touring the Stars: Butte Hold
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/18/2016 19:08:33

Meh. These Touring The Stars are medicore but could be so much more.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
BattleTech: Touring the Stars: Butte Hold
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Shadowrun: Anarchy
by Russell D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/17/2016 11:36:37

I love this drek. There may be things I would’ve considered doing differently, and I’ll admit it feels a bit schizophrenic in places trying to decide its target audience (too crunchy for story gamers, too narrativist/hand-wavey for traditional SR players.) This isn’t 5th Edition trimmed down; this is the SR setting hacked & reskinned to fit the Cue System.

And that’s fine — I haven’t ran or played “Shadowrun proper” in years. I have a shit ton of old SR books on my shelf, and the latest ones I have are 3rd Edition. 4e character creation was too GURPS-ish for my taste; 5e looks wiz but I don’t have the time like I used to in order to teach it and run it.

Anarchy makes me nostalgic for what my favorite Shadowrun campaigns were — sessions where we disregarded the simulation, the minutiae, and focused more on the story. I didn’t punish my players for over-the-top, I rewarded them. I always made it a house rule that if you bought a few clips of ammo between runs, we’d play with “cinematic” ammo rules. I streamlined the fuck out of the Matrix with “Rule of Cool” and simple skill tests, because cyberpunk hacking to me is more about style than substance.

Anarchy is mechanically NOT Shadowrun. Yes, you’re rolling handfuls of six-siders and trying to wrack up successes. That’s sexy, and that’s honestly about as much “rules nostalgia” as I want. Combat is streamlined; there’s not even different modes of gun fire and initiative rolls are optional. Armor is just a bubble of extra damage pips before it goes on your actual health marks. Magic doesn’t have any Force or Drain — it’s straight forward effects. I mean hell: magic, cyberware, adept powers, cool equipment, and any other strange knack that makes you a badass are all rolled under the banner of “Shadow Amps”. These could be called Gifts, Stunts, Feats, Perks etc in many other systems. And I’m cool with that.

I don't have the time to teach or game master the Shadowrun I cut my teeth on. But this is a good foundation for me to get my Sixth-World fix, and introduce others to it. It's lean, mean, and pretty easy to wing it. It’s almost two games in one — the default “Narratavist” style is something to play on a moments notice. Grab a pre-gen character, pick a mission, everyone contributes to the story. It’s like Fiasco but more game-ish and pretty violent. Play it “Traditionally”, and with a few minor adjustments (that are in the book) it’s a game I can actually see myself running a campaign of despite my limited schedule.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Anarchy
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Shadowrun: Anarchy
by Andrew L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/16/2016 18:53:34

Where Shadowrun 5th ed is a mess of to any rules, clearly writen by poeple that did not agree on the rules or what should be in the book at all. All setting story points could not happen within that rule set. Anarchy goes the other way. Basicly it is for story GM/DMs that believe rules should be guidelines. I found Anarchy rules to be lacking to the point, they did not even make good guidelines. It was really just a rules outline. Spell and skills go from 5ed half/full pages to ONE LINE. Noncombat spells mostly went away. I hoped for the middle and I got something I well need days/hours homebrewing rules for. I like the shadow run setting. I just wish someone made a good rule set for it. Anarchy is not that rule set.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Anarchy
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/16/2016 05:19:15

For those who love the setting of Shadowrun but, like me, can't stand the level of crunch or rule-based modelling this is a perfect system. The Anarchy system gives lots of agency to the players and plenty of flexibility. If you really miss the table-consulting and buckets of dice the system is easy enough to add layers of complication. Why would you though? This game system is designed to be simple, fun, and quick to set up and run. For players and gamemasters alike whose tastes run from mirrorshades and gritty film-noir to pink mohawks and shoot-everything-in-sight this system will work for you. Excellent artwork and relatively well laid-out book.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Anarchy
by Justin R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/15/2016 07:58:32

I started playing shadowrun at 3rd edition as a teen in the 90s. I love the Shadowrun universe, but the rules were always the biggest obstacle for my friends and I. That's why I was pumped when I learned about Anarchy. Upon my first reading, I described it to my old Shadowrun group as "Shadowrun, Apocalypse World and Fate Accelerated got freaky and birthed a super baby." Now that I have had a little more time to read the game, it is a little more crunchy then I initially thought. Basically it falls into the spectrum of being more rule-sy then your typical story driven rpg (AW, FAE) but when compared to Shadowrun 5e, it is slim and trim. When everything's said and done, this the shadowrun rules set I want to play. I hope it gets some traction and some additional support material is released.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Anarchy
by Alejandro V. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/07/2016 16:30:46

I was overjoyed when I heard that Anarchy was going to be a thing, as I know several people (including myself) who love the setting but are turned off by the complexities of the main system.

Pros: -Easy to GM and easy to play. -Incredible amount of pre-made characters and missions -Character Creation is quick and easy to understand. -Still offers numerous amounts of character options with tables to make your own "amps" -Maintains the Shadowrun feel of Attribute + Skill with d6 die -Offers traditional Gming option

Cons: -Terrible Editing issues in the current release as of this review -Can be pressuring to put players "in the spotlight" -Cues are nice for new players and premade characters, but offer no real benefit -Would probably turn off a traditional Shadowrun player who enjoys more simulationist gaming.

An example of play would be nice, as it's not entirely clear how involved a gm should be within the cue system (though I feel this could be intentional to the games "do what you want attitude"). All in all though, would play (and will play) again.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Anarchy
by David C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/04/2016 22:35:30

As a rules lite variant to Shadowrun this is great. There are even rules to bring over and convert SR5 to Anarchy so i am happy with it for the mozt part. Like others mentioned though, there is stuff missing as well as some nonsensical errors in the book. I think once catalyst sorts that out, it will be an awesome game!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Anarchy
by Gábor C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/03/2016 14:36:32

Besides leaning towards a more rules lite approach, Anarchy is also a dominantly narrativist version of Shadowrun.

The roles of GM and Player are somewhat mashed together. Even though there's a lead GM, players are given serious GM-like powers which can be used primarily during a player's own "narration" phase. Such a phase is kinda like a round in a traditional simulationist rpg, only rounds here are used all the time, not just during combat, and when it's your round, you become the GM (whether you want to or not) whom only the lead GM can override.

Having read the rules it doesn't seem impossible to use Anarchy for old-school gaming. It's definitely not the default mode, though, and going simulationist is not really supported at all. You'll have to cut out some core mechanics, and introduce a number of house rules to heal the wound on the system, without any significant help.

Even if you intend to use SR:A as designed, as a narrativist, rules lite (or maybe medium) game, you'll find a number of rules / details questions you'll have to answer for yourself. (Well, unless we get an updated pdf and/or an errata.) Please, see the other reviews and the Discussion section here for details – I'm not going to list them, as my primary hope was, indeed, to get a rules lite/medium simulationist version of Shadowrun. Sure, I did know SR:A has been advertised as a primarily narrativist game – yet ever since its announcement it has been implied online that you'd be able to use it for a traditional style nearly equally easily, possibly through some optional rules.

I wouldn't say I'm disappointed, because I mostly (not fully) got what I expected based on the pre-release communications. Yet I'm not happy (though the art is awesome and inspiring.) A serious errata and a possible expansion with the "missing", optional, simulationist rules (with the chance to ignore all the narrativist Cue System stuff) would definitely make me reconsider my rating.

TL;DR: Great art, great world, yet currently not really useful alternate SR for an old-school GM who's been waiting for a chance to return to traditional, simulationist SR gaming for years, without having to grapple with a narrativist system introduced here, or the rules-superheavy SR5.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Anarchy
by Markus S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/03/2016 06:08:35

The rules section of this book is IMHO unfinished and not ready for publication.

Once the publisher releases an update with complete and proofread rules, I will edit this review and discuss the rules themselves. (From what I've read so far, my review would be a fairly positive one, but for now, I am surprised and somewhat angry that Catalyst would release a book at this stage of development.)

For now:

Several sections of the book obviously use or refer to earlier, outdated versions of the rules. (One of many examples: P. 68: Your Runner starts with at least two weapons; the group must approve if you want more than two. In the example, Sledge selects four weapons. - P. 83: Sledge has a Level-1-Amp "More where that came from", granting "2 additional weapons" and the ability to "trade melee and ranged weapons", whatever that is supposed to mean. - P. 66: Sledge does not buy this Amp in the example for buying Shadow Amps. - P. 204: The Amp shows up in the complete listing of Amps, but with an Amp-Level of 2.)

Stats for vehicles and drones are missing (except for mounted vehicle weapons and "enemy drones"). This is a bug, not a feature - the rules do make reference to stats like vehicle armor or durability, for example, I just could not find these stats anywhere. Didn't anyone play a Rigger during playtesting?

Stats for Technomancer Sprites are missing completely.

I just hope this is not the file that was sent to the printer!



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
by notKlaatu L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/02/2016 14:36:59

Shadowrun converted me from hating the cyberpunk genre to loving it, and loving especially Shadowrun for its originality and unique take on a technological wasteland combined with magick and fantasy. The 5th Edition is my first edition, so I have no history with the game to compare this to. Compared to other rulesets, I'll definitely say that this one is complex, but that's not necessarily a bad thing and, in fact, can be a really great thing if part of the reason you enjoy RPG is for stat management and rule parsing. I happen to enjoy that quite a lot, so the intricacy of the Sixth World and its rules is just a further excuse to keep exploring it.

My only complaint: I would love for this rulebook to be released as an epub. The PDF format is great for pre-press, but for everyday reading and reference, it's just too big and the text, of course, is not resizeable. There's a lot of information in this book, and while the book is very attractive and nicely designed, I'd much rather be able to just read the text, instead of zooming in on the pdf and scrolling around the screen to follow the columns. It makes a leisurely read-through difficult, and as a refernence book it's basically useless. Realistically, you're probably going to need to buy the physical book whether or not you own the PDF, because the PDF is just not convenient. An epub version would solve that, and while I have extracted all the text from this book in an effort to convert it to a hand-rolled epub, there's A LOT of text to deal with, and proofing it and fixing all the tables just isn't really worth my time. PDF is a horrible format for a digital lifestyle, and how ironic that a game about the tech elite should have no clue how to cater to modern technologists.

Aside from format issues, this is a great rulebook and a great game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Fifth Edition Core Rulebook (Master Index Edition)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Shadowrun: Anarchy
by Austin L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/02/2016 04:15:54

I should open this review by dispelling a common misconception. Shadowrun: Anarchy is not a 'rules light' game. Shadowrun: Anarchy has a pretty typical amount of rules for an RPG. It's only rules light in comparison to mainline Shadowrun, which is infamous for it's massive amount of rules. Anarchy is a streamlined Shadowrun experience, one that retains all of the core elements of the mainstream games, streamlines some of the more complicated rules systems, and adds in a bit of narrativist flair to appeal to a more contemporary gaming audience. It's meant to serve as an entry point for newcomers to Shadowrun, as well as an alternative system for people who want to run a quick pick up game, or simply prefer a less simulationist experience.

Shadowrun: Anarchy is designed to be a self contained introduction to the Shadowrun universe. Much of the early parts of the book are dedicated to establishing the the universe and it's more unique elements. There's a timeline, an overview of the various megacorps you'll be working for (or against), some short fiction, and a bunch of gorgeous artwork. The book also contains thirty premade PCs (complete with short backstories and character portraits), a gazeteer of the game's version of Seattle, and a massive set of "Contract Briefs" (adventure seeds). If you're looking to get into Shadowrun and can only afford one book, Anarchy will have everything you need to play.

The game runs on a variation of the Cue System used in the Valiant Universe Roleplaying Game. It's a narrativist system in which all of the players have a portion of control over the narrative, and are able to introduce new elements and plot twists as they see fit. Unlike traditional Shadowrun, the focus of the game is creating an exciting story, rather than overcoming the challenges of the run. By using Plot Points, players can freely help or hinder players in whatever ways they see fit, so long as the result is interesting. The result is a more unpredictable form of Shadowrun where the exact outcome of a given session can never be totally predicted (hence the Anarchy in the title).

Things are kept in check through Cues; small bits of description or narration that function somewhat like Fate aspects; players who are at a loss for what to do are encouraged to look at their Cues for suggestions, and Cues also serve to help dictate the tone of a given run.

However, Anarchy differs from Valiant Universe in that it maintains the traditional GM-Player relationship. There is a single person in charge of controlling the opposition and managing the runs. Interestingly, the GM doesn't have the power to directly help or hinder players; that responsibility falls solely on them. The result is a kind of hybrid Fiasco-Shadowrun game where players are encouraged to both help one another and screw each other over in pursuit of an interesting story. Of course, groups who aren't fond of this approach can also just play Anarchy like a traditional Shadowrun game. They lose out on some of the game's flavor, but they might end up with a more stable story.

Anarchy also differs from Valiant Universe in that Catalyst has gone out of its way to preserve all of Shadowrun's core mechanics. The "D6, Count Hits" resolution mechanic from Shadowrun 4e and 5e is still here, and most of the game's mechanics are reminiscent of (if not identical to) the mainline series, including attributes, skills, qualities, and condition tracks. If you're familiar with recent editions of Shadowrun, you'll feel right at home. If not, you'll still find character creation to be a lot more substantial than what you'd expect from a narrativist system.

The biggest change for Shadowrun veterans would be the introduction of Shadow Amps, which are meant to fill in for the various cyber limbs, magic spells, and matrix programs that a Shadowrunner needs to succeed. This is one of the more interesting aspects of the system, as the game goes with a sort of DIY approach; a character can only ever have six Shadow Amps, but can combine multiple effects into a single amp, resulting in custom spells or tricked out cyberware in more creative players. The game also encourages GMs and players to design Amps from the ground up, though there's no clear guide on how to do so. The classic Magic/Resonance/Cyber divide is still present as well. Being Awakened (or a Technomancer) costs two amp points (but not an amp slot), and most Cyberware reduces your Essence score (which weakens your ability to do magic).

Shadow Amps have a lot of potential; they feel like an immensely hackable system, and a savvy GM could use them to create things that mainline Shadowrun cannot or does not support. While the game doesn't include any of Shadowrun's non-traditional concepts (like AIs, Free Spirits, Awakened Critters, and Cyberzombies) the Shadow Amp system is flexible enough that introducing those elements to the system would require only a minimal amount of work.

Weapons and gear have also been abstracted. Nuyen and Lifestyle Costs are nowhere to be found (except as a narrative element). Weapons, Gear, and Contacts are now bought and upgraded through Karma (the game's version of experience points). Weapons still generally resemble their Shadowrun counterparts (albeit with fewer modifiers), while Gear has been abstracted to its purely narrative purpose. Riggers may mourn the lost of having ten thousand modification options for their van, but others might revel in being freed from the shackles of bookkeeping. It really depends on the group.

Finally, some of the game's subsystems have also been simplified. The Matrix (a notoriously complicated system) has been simplified to requiring only a single roll to gain control of a given matrix object, with things like alarms and the Overwatch Score being relegated to Narration twists. Matrix combat is still a thing, and functions mostly identically to it's mainline counterpart. There are also optional rules designed to make the matrix more similar to it's 5e counterpart for players who prefer a more substantial decking experience.

Magic operates much like it's Shadowrun counterpart, though there is no Drain to speak of. A magician can cast a given spell indefinitely without fear of injury; a fair trade for the six spell limitation that all players are now restricted by. Sustaining spells is also much more simple, though there are still (suggested) penalties for doing so if the spell is particularly complex, or being held for a long time. Spirit summoning is also relatively similar, although players can no longer bind spirits, nor can they have multiple spirits summoned at the same time.

Technomancy has undergone similar tweaks; Fade is completely gone, but players can only know six Complex Forms and have one sprite compiled at a given time.

The Rigging rules are also mostly functional, although the book only provides three example drone templates (and zero vehicle templates) buried in the NPC section, which leaves players and GMs to basically improvise if a rigging focused character is desired.

In fact, Improvisation is Shadowrun: Anarchy's biggest weakness (despite also being its biggest strength). While the freeform, narrativist style allows for high speed gameplay and a far more flexible experience than what 5e could ever give, there are many situations where the book simply shrugs and lets the GM and players figure things out on their own. Riggers are forced to try and puzzle out how to create drones and vehicles using the NPCs as a template. GMs are forced to try and reverse engineer the rules for creating Shadow Amps. The Non-Player character section is pitifully short, and completely lacks illustrations or descriptive text; it's just several pages of statblocks with vague titles like "Corporate Suit" or "Bug Queen". These are all relatively easily resolved issues (even a few sentences would be sufficent in each case), so it's baffling to see Catalyst fall short like this.

So, is Shadowrun: Anarchy for you?

If you're new to Shadowrun and want an easy way to run a game for your friends, this is absolutely a good choice. Just be sure your group is willing to play along with the Cue System for an ideal experience.

If you're a Shadowrun vet, I'd rank it as a maybe. It's similar enough that you'll feel at home with the mechanics, but the spirit of the rules might throw off certain groups. It's definitely worth a look if you've ever been frustrated with the mainline systems limitations and complexities, but if you love Shadowrun for its complexity, then Anarchy isn't for you.

However, if your main love of Shadowrun is for it's unique setting, and you just want a chance to experience it without all that fragging bookkeeping getting in your way, then Anarchy is definitely worth the price of entry.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Anarchy
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Shadowrun: Hell on Water
by William J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/27/2016 23:20:10

This book is fantastic. It does a beautiful job at capturing the Sixth World and it was just a straight up fun read.

What makes this book so fun to read is our nameless narrator. Whom kind of reminds me of Marcus from Borderlands. A very strange use of metaphors which really helps flavor the book. It also uses a very interesting jumping around narrative style to make it like you're piecing together the story as you read. Something akin to a Catch-22 or Pulp Fiction, where the story isn't told in a linear fashion. I honestly loved it.

The story itself follows a team of runners as they make it through the gauntlet known as the south bridge to Lagos Island. They have to deal with tribal disputes, the undead, magical orginizations, and organ leggers while attempting to deliver 3 mysterious packages. That basically captures everything that makes Shadowrun such a great setting. It's not about one thing, but instead about many moving parts that make the world feel real. And the narrative does a great job at making all these conflicting goals come together.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Hell on Water
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Shadowrun: Boundless Mercy
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/17/2016 15:35:55

I didn't have the opportunity to play any of these at convention and in retrospect that was probably a good thing. There are many other Con missions that are much more interesting and fun. I suppose I should have been suspicious based on the blatant hard-sell marketing for the physical copy but I didn't pick up on that. My first issue involves the 'how' premise for the Johnson here (I'm keeping this vague to avoid spoilers if you do decide to purchase it). How on earth is she financing these runs? Now it's easy enough to find a workaround but it's just the first of many that are required here. Earlier Missions were also very good at giving alternatives to combat and multiple ways of approaching things. Less so here and I hope it's not a trend for the future but I think it might be.

For a long time, Missions were the best published adventures you could get but I'm afraid that's not the case any longer...



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Boundless Mercy
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Shadowrun: Shadows in Focus: Sioux Nation
by Lewis G. I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/17/2016 12:10:58

Great job! My team really enjoyed playing through this. It has some good characters and plays smoothly. I love that they are touching on the Native American Nations. They do a great job adding scene and setting background so the GM can go in any direction they want.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Shadows in Focus: Sioux Nation
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Displaying 16 to 30 (of 930 reviews) Result Pages: [<< Prev]   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates